Naomi hated me.
I was sure of it. I wasn't very good with people, but it wasn't hard to read faces really. She had looked scared in English. I had tried to make things better by acting more confident. Maybe she would react better if I went back to not talking to anybody... Well, except Flinn.
"Brother, we got to go to math now," Annie said from behind me. She didn't want people walking through her, probably. I wish people could walk through me sometimes. It would make it easier to deal with them. I just didn't understand.
But, no time for that. I had to get to Advanced Mathematics. The classroom wasn't far and, thankfully, Naomi and the others weren't in this class to bother me. They were all terrible at math, so I didn't think I would need to worry about them transferring. Math was truly my happy escape.
The teacher, Miss Mullins, was strict, but fair. Well, that's what Dante said. In truth, I found her pleasant. She didn't get offended if I tried to correct her - since her policy was being correct and correcting any you could - and sometimes even agreed with my corrections. Everyone made mistakes, she had told me, so it's alright to be corrected. I just wished the same was true for my friends...
Well, Makenna and Eve had 'corrected' their problem, so maybe I could.
"Hello, class," Miss Mullins said with her usual stern face, "please open up your books to page 346. Today we will be reviewing the trigonometric formulas." That's all? Well, I didn't know how well I'd be able to concentrate, so it was probably good. Plus, there were only eleven kids in this class, so it was easy to look over me and my issues...
Maybe I could just be honest with Naomi? Surely Flynn and the others would help me explain myself if I told them. Flynn already knew, but I didn't think he was any better at dealing with girls than me... Well, he could at least talk to them right. I couldn't even hold a proper conversation with a girl. Except with Annie, of course.
"Al, pay attention!"
I jumped at Annie's voice and realized that Miss Mullins, along with the rest of the class, was staring at me. "S-sorry.."
Miss Mullins expression didn't change. "It's unlike you to zone out, Mr. Phonse," she said slowly, a hint of concern hitting her voice, "Now, tell me what the reciprocal of Sine is."
"And if I asked you what Sine divided by Cosine is?"
Dante had covered these using trashcan lids and sticks when I lived on the streets with Annie... I had been 13 back then, too. As far as Math went, I was schooled far beyond my age. According to Dante, I could move straight on to college if I really wanted to. But.. I never wanted to, I just wanted a safe place to stay with Annie.
"Mr. Phonse, your knowledge is as impressive as ever," Miss Mullins said, "So I'll let you off this time. In the future, though, be sure to pay attention."
"Y-yes, ma'am," I responded. I wasn't used to being scolded, so I made sure to pay attention the rest of the class. Maybe I could use this as a study in how to teach. I could teach the others math and maybe they would no longer be mad.
So, I studied the way Mrs. Mullins taught the rest of class. After it ended, I even asked her about it. Dante wasn't around since Annie had chased him off in one of her random temper tantrums, so I couldn't ask him. Plus, Miss Mullins wasn't like Dante, or even like a normal girl. She was straight forward and didn't need act overly nice like most adults did to me. I liked it.
I decided to head to the entrance of the Academy to see the flower lady. She was on the other side, but still knew good stories. When I got there, though...
"Where is she?"
Annie walked over to the empty bench that the older woman used to occupy. That was odd. She said she had been sitting there for over fifty years...
"Excuse me, young man?"
I turned to see an adult woman walking toward me. She was what most people in New York would call attractive. Well, even more than that. No, this is not the time to be looking at an older woman! I was already in enough trouble with females as it was. Maybe I should just talk to her?
"Um.. yes, ma'am?" I said. No stuttering. Maybe it was because this woman was in a business suit. A new teacher, perhaps?
"I'm looking for an Oliver Robyns," she said, her face showing a smile big enough to become infectious.
"Mr. Robyns is... Well.. you can ask another adult to find him... Are you his wife?" I don't know why I asked that... But I was curious. If Eve, with her interest in Mr. Robyns, found out about a wife, she might get sad.
The woman laughed, making her blonde hair shake slightly. Why wasn't it moving with the wind? It was a little windy. "I am his grandmother, young man," the woman said, "And I don't think a dead person can talk to anyone living. Except you, of course."
I talk to dead people? Since when?